The Tampa Bay Buccaneers eliminated the Philadelphia Eagles from this season’s NFL playoffs, securing the final spot in the upcoming divisional round. The Eagles, who narrowly lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in a memorable Super Bowl last February, experienced a disappointing end to their season for the second consecutive year, being the last team to lose their unbeaten record this season with a 10-1 record at the end of November. Unfortunately, their season concluded on a sour note with a 32-9 defeat against Tampa Bay, losing six of their last seven games.
On a separate note, the Buffalo Bills triumphed over the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 31-17 victory earlier on Monday, setting the stage for an exciting matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Two years ago, the Bills faced defeat at this stage in a thrilling contest between star quarterbacks Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, where the Chiefs emerged victorious with a 42-36 overtime win.
Looking ahead, the Chiefs will travel to Buffalo next Sunday with the goal of keeping their hopes alive for back-to-back Super Bowl wins and securing a third NFL title in five years.
The Buccaneers, triumphant over the Chiefs in the 2021 Super Bowl, are set to face the Detroit Lions earlier in the day.
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By the end of November, Philadelphia had accumulated more wins than Tampa Bay managed throughout the entire season, with the Bucs entering the playoffs with a 9-8 record—the least impressive among the 14 teams progressing to the postseason.
Guided by Baker Mayfield, who took over as the starting quarterback following Tom Brady’s retirement, the Bucs secured five wins in their last six games to clinch the NFC South.
The disparity in form between the two teams was evident during the wildcard weekend, as the Bucs established a 16-3 lead with three field goals and a 44-yard touchdown by David Moore.
A score by Dallas Goedert just before halftime narrowed the gap to 16-9, providing the Eagles with a glimmer of hope to reverse their downward trend.
However, those hopes dwindled late in the third quarter when Tampa Bay forced the Eagles to concede a safety. The Eagles’ defense faltered once again as Trey Palmer scored a 56-yard touchdown.
A late touchdown by Chris Godwin marked three touchdown passes and 337 passing yards for Mayfield, solidifying his position as a top QB after joining his third team since departing the Cleveland Browns after the 2021 season.
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Bills Beat Steelers After Buffalo Snowstorm
The matchup between Pittsburgh and the Bills was rescheduled from Sunday to Monday due to a state of emergency declared in the Buffalo region, anticipating severe weather conditions featuring strong winds and heavy snow.
In response to the challenging weather, the Bills made a unique appeal to their fans, asking for assistance in snow removal at Highmark Stadium. Fans were offered $20 (£15.70) per hour, along with hot drinks and breakfast, as several feet of snow had accumulated in upstate New York.
Despite the frigid temperature of -7°C (compared to the Chiefs’ home win in -20°C on Saturday), Buffalo took advantage and surged to a commanding 21-0 lead with three touchdowns. Quarterback Josh Allen orchestrated scoring strikes to tight ends Dawson Knox and Dalton Kincaid in the first quarter, adding a remarkable 52-yard run in the second—the longest of his career.
Pittsburgh mounted a comeback with a Diontae Johnson touchdown shortly before halftime, and both teams traded field goals in the third quarter. Although Calvin Austin’s touchdown narrowed the score to 24-17 in the fourth quarter, Buffalo responded swiftly as Khalil Shakir skillfully found the end zone after making the catch.
This marked three touchdown passes for Allen and secured the Bills’ sixth consecutive win since the beginning of December.